Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care

Date:
August 27, 2014
Source:
The Lancet
Summary:
Three papers reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.

Three papers published in The Lancet Psychiatry, The Lancet, and The Lancet Oncology reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.

An analysis of data from more than 21,000 patients attending cancer clinics in Scotland, UK, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, found that major depression is substantially more common in cancer patients than in the general population. Major depression was most common in patients with lung cancer (13%) and lowest in those with genitourinary cancer (6%). Moreover, nearly three quarters (73%) of depressed cancer patients were not receiving treatment.

To address the problem of inadequate treatment the SMaRT Oncology-2 randomised trial, published in The Lancet, evaluated the effectiveness of a new treatment program called 'Depression Care for People with Cancer' (DCPC). DCPC is delivered by a team of specially trained cancer nurses and psychiatrists, working in collaboration with the patient's cancer team and general practitioner, and is given as part of cancer care. It is a systematic treatment program that includes both antidepressants and psychological therapy.

The trial, involving 500 adults with major depression and a cancer with a good prognosis (predicted survival more than 12 months) compared DCPC with usual care [1]. DCPC was strikingly more effective at reducing depression. At 6 months, 62% of the patients who received DCPC responded to treatment (at least a 50% reduction in the severity of their depression) compared with only 17% of those who received usual care. This benefit was sustained at 12 months. DCPC also improved anxiety, pain, fatigue, functioning, and overall quality of life. Moreover, the cost of providing DCPC was modest (613 per patient) making it a cost-effective way to improve cancer patients' quality of life.

According to lead author Professor Michael Sharpe from the University of Oxford in the UK, "The huge benefit that DCPC delivers for patients with cancer and depression shows what we can achieve for patients if we take as much care with the treatment of their depression as we do with the treatment of their cancer."

To see if patients with a poor prognosis cancer could also benefit from this approach, the SMaRT Oncology-3 randomised trial, published in The Lancet Oncology, tested a version of DCPC adapted for patients with a typically poor prognosis cancer (lung cancer). The trial, involving 142 patients with lung cancer and major depression, found that those who received the lung cancer version of DCPC had a significantly greater improvement in depression than those who received usual care during 32 weeks of follow-up. The lung cancer-specific version of DCPC also improved anxiety, functioning, and quality of life.

According to study leader Dr Jane Walker from the University of Oxford and Sobell House Hospice in Oxford in the UK, "Patients with lung cancer often have a poor prognosis. If they also have major depression that can blight the time they have left to live. This trial shows that we can effectively treat depression in patients with poor prognosis cancers like lung cancer and really improve patients' lives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Lancet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Michael Sharpe et al. Prevalence, associations, and adequacy of treatment of major depression in patients with cancer: a cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected clinical data. The Lancet Psychiatry, August 2014 DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70313-X
  2. Michael Sharpe, Jane Walker, Christian Holm Hansen, Paul Martin, Stefan Symeonides, Charlie Gourley, Lucy Wall, David Weller, Gordon Murray. Integrated collaborative care for comorbid major depression in patients with cancer (SMaRT Oncology-2): a multicentre randomised controlled effectiveness trial. The Lancet, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61231-9
  3. Jane Walker, Christian Holm Hansen, Paul Martin, Stefan Symeonides, Charlie Gourley, Lucy Wall, David Weller, Gordon Murray, Michael Sharpe. Integrated collaborative care for major depression comorbid with a poor prognosis cancer (SMaRT Oncology-3): a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with lung cancer. The Lancet Oncology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70343-2

Cite This Page:

The Lancet. "Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827203635.htm>.
The Lancet. (2014, August 27). Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827203635.htm
The Lancet. "Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827203635.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins